An introduction to VoIP
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
VoIP means Voice over Internet Protocol (also generally known as IP Telephony) and is an alternate way of making calls. Traditional phone calls are made over a landline are fed by a copper wire from your premises to a local telephone exchange. VoIP calls are not made over traditional landlines, instead they are made over your broadband internet connection. The great thing about VoIP is that you can still make calls from your current telephone by attaching an adapter to it. Simply plug the adapter in and make your calls as normal. You can also make calls via your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone but the best way is to use a specialised IP telephone, purpose built for making phone calls over the internet. IP phones nowadays come with high specifications which can include built in video conferencing and messaging capabilities.
Making and receiving phone calls is a great way to make use of your broadband connection. In many cases you also have the choice to PORT or transfer your current phone number to your VoIP Phone line. If you do not want to move your existing land line phone number to your broadband phone, you may be given a new phone number. Normally it will be a LOCAL number with the same dialling code as your current one but you can also have a phone number from a different area. For example, your business is in one part of the country and you want a phone number with a different dialling code from another part of the country. You can even have an international number.
Migrating your traditional telecoms over to VoIP is a smart way to save a considerable amount of money, particularly on international calls. Most of our service plans can include unlimited calls in the country you are in, or if you are a regular international caller, calls to overseas destinations. If you roll out VoIP to your overseas offices then calls between your offices will usually be free. This is the beauty of using VoIP telephony and you can immediately see the potential savings you can make.
There are many ways in which you can make a VoIP telephone call. Here are 3 of the most common that people around the world are using.
The first and most basic type of communication technique is by attaching an analogue telephone adapter. This method enables you to connect your normal phone direct to your broadband router or plug it into your laptop or computer in order to make use of your internet connection to make phone calls.
The second most common and recommended method is to use an IP phone. These can be either desktop telephones that you will find on the desk in most offices. They look like a standard traditional phone but are specially designed for use over the internet. You can even get internet only mobile phones that utilise your office Wi-Fi or public Wi-Fi hotspot. There is little difference between these phones and your normal phone other than you will connect your IP phone into your broadband router via an Ethernet connection, or into the back of your computer or laptop in order to connect to the internet and make calls,. There are even cordless versions that will enable you to make calls from your business Wi-Fi. These phones are known as DECT phones / handsets, which stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications. We can supply you with the latest IP telephones from all the major manufacturers, such as Yealink, Snom, Panasonic and many more, all at competitive prices.
If you dont want to spend out on a new phone then the easiest way to make VoIP calls is to use your computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone. We can supply you with free software to load onto your device and this will enable you to make calls, as long as you are connected to the internet. All you need to make sure is you have a suitable microphone, speaker and sound card on your laptop or computer. A web cam will also be needed if you are going to make video calls. This is definitely the most affordable way to make VoIP calls.
The use of VoIP telephony to make your phone calls, regardless of the method you choose, will see you make significant savings on your current telephone bills. It will improve the way in which you communicate with your customers and colleagues all over the world. Remember that if you have more than one office anywhere in the world, as long as they too are part of your VoIP network then calls to them are free through the use of your internet connection.
If you currently use a traditional Pubic Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), new developments in IP Telephony will allow you connect your existing business telephone system to our VoIP network. This is known as a SIP Trunk and effectively replaces the PSTN. A SIP trunk is like a digital phone line and connects your existing business telephone system to our Private Branch Exchange (PBX) in order for your calls to be routed correctly. The main advantage of a SIP trunk is that it negates the need for a lot of phone lines. You only need one SIP trunk and can make as many calls as your broadband bandwidth allows
A PBX is a personalised telephone exchange that routes all of your calls. It comes with many features such as caller ID, call transfer, answerphone, known as voice mail, voice and video conference calling and an Auto Attendant (IVR). IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response and is really a virtual receptionist that transfers incoming calls to the correct phone extension or department within your company.
VoIP technology is continually emerging even though it has been around for a number of years. Its speedy growth can be compared to that of the internet in the late 90’s. In the next few years, we expect VoIP to substitute the traditional standard telephone systems all together. COM-TEL Telecom, along with VoIP International, are at the forefront of VoIP innovation and integration of VoIP telephony into today’s modern business models and are always looking at ways that we can utilise this technology to make your business run smoothly and more effectively.
Please contact us for more information and details about how we can help you make the transition over to VoIP telephony today.